tv [untitled] November 19, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
month committee. we would like to welcome you to our annual arab heritage month celebration. on behalf of the mayor's office and the city of san francisco. >> hi, everyone. thank you for joining. we were technically supposed to start at 5:30, but we are a few minutes early. that's pretty good. we're usually late. thank you for coming. this is the third year we have initiated the cemenevent. this is a very interesting year to be an arab, i would say. many things are happening throughout the arab world. as you may have noticed, there's been a slight change in the flag.
we have a new libyan flag. [laughter] [applause] we have four arab countries in the entire arab world where people are finally speaking up. for many of us in the san francisco bay community, we've known far too long what's been going on in the arab world. the reason there is a thriving arab-american community in the area is because many of us had to leave our homeland due to political persecution or the fact there's no respect for our dignity. in the san francisco bay area, we came together from all over the arab world to live. thank you, again, for coming. i hope you have enjoyed the program to a lot of people have worked very hard. i want to make a few announcements. we could not have done any of this without our sponsors. before we start, a big thank
you to the presenting sponsor, the law firm. a round of applause for them. thank you. [applause] also, burgermeister franchise. [applause] and we have ike's place and [inaudible] [applause] we could not have done it without their support. they were very generous. i urge all of you to please support these businesses. without them, we would not have put on this event. >> and now i have the pleasure of introducing the musical ensembles. it is a bay area based ensemble
[applause] >> thank you. another round of applause for them. [applause] thank you. it gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to our great mayor, mayor ed lee. [applause] >> thank you very much for that wonderful music. thank you. thank you. thank you for being here tonight. if i may say -- thank you.
if i may say [speaking foreign- language] welcome. welcome to our wonderful city hall. it's my pleasure to welcome you to the third annual arab heritage month celebration here in our wonderful city of san francisco. no many of you know, too, there has been a lot of spotlight on our arab-american countries. people are wondering what it is that is going on. the whole world is struggling to find out what the right thing to think and do and understand is. here in san francisco, we have a tradition, especially when it comes to immigrants -- comes to
emigrants, who they are, where they come from, and what they want to do. that's the beauty of being here in san francisco. it happened to my heritage. it's happened to many, many generations of visitors who come to this city. now it's happening for your generations of arab americans. it's our pleasure, and as the mayor of our great city -- i know it is felt at the board of supervisors that we welcome and celebrate our diversity. we do our best to understand, to dialogue, and to create more understanding. we celebrate that. that is our strength in san francisco. that's why we have these wonderful celebrations. thank you to the ensemble for sharing your music here and
creating a cultural connections. [applause] thank you. we have a wonderful city of san francisco. i know that we pride ourselves in being an international city. begins with celebrating all the diverse cultures and making sure everyone is recognized, that we have our education institutions reflect that, our cities, official events, reflected that but i know i have benefited greatly, not only as an attorney, but as someone who has worked in the city to have worked with so many leaders of the arab-american community. the business leaders have done very well here. knowing, also, the challenges that you face -- i also know there are so many examples of arab-american leadership in the technology world. just look at silicon valley and
see how successful arab- americans have been. we are now recruiting those very companies to come to san francisco to make sure that we work with you for job creation. i am also very excited about so many small-business owners who are of arab-american descent. you have done so well in working in all of our different neighborhoods. i want to continue working with you. i also want to work with those leaders who have been in the cultural world. thank you very much for your contributions. [applause] and i also want to work with people like michelle and the arab film festival. thank you very much, michele. my wife, anita, has really loved
going to those film festivals, too. [applause] that's why i want to signal to all of you that you have been educating me and the community so much. i am very excited. anita and i want to work very hard with our friends to take my first visit to the middle eastern countries so i can touch the kinds of bridges you have been building. i want to do that. those of the same bridges' we have built in our asian communities. everyone of you who have come here and been successful in education, arts, and businesses, you have gone back and build those bridges so others can continue coming, and to make sure that we have that type of cultural appreciation. that's why i'm excited. whether you are from palestine, yemen, morocco, all of these middle eastern countries -- we welcome you all here with pride.
[applause] i want to be able to visit all those countries myself. i want to know where it is you came from and what it is that you are so proud of, having left, and want to continue improving, and where your children want to visit for generations to come. with that, i would like to recognize for the outstanding lifetime achievement award somebody who i have admired that is among you today, whose years in leadership of this ensemble is only one aspect of what she has done. the day-to-day work she has done, right down the street in our tenderloin health clinic, year after year, providing service to so many people. at night, teaching kids and youth